Earlier this week, headlines erupted with news confirming that Real Madrid forward and French national team star Karim Benzema has been found guilty of complicity during the attempted blackmail against his former Les Bleus teammate Mathieu Valbuena over the latter’s sex tape. However, apart from a dent on his wallet, the prolific forward is not expected to suffer any more hits on his career.
Benzema has been ordered to pay a fine of 75,000 euros, which he can easily afford thanks to his highly successful football career. It will be a pinch, but one that will be worth bearing in order to put the ordeal behind him.
On top of the fine, Benzema was also slapped with a one-year suspended prison sentence. The fine is straightforward enough, but fans are more concerned about the prison sentence. According to Marca, as bad as it may initially sound, the Frenchman may be not need to spend any time behind bars as long as he keeps his nose clean and does not commit another offence.
The case has dragged on since 2015, and Benzema should be able to keep out of trouble in order to finally put the Valbuena incident behind him. For those unaware, Benzema was dragged into the case after he spoke to Valbuena in a manner that led the latter to feel as though he was being urged to pay off the blackmailers who were in possession of his sex tape.
The conversation took place while both players were in a training camp for France. They were both dropped from the team after the scandal broke out, but Benzema has been recalled to the squad after five long years in exile.
Manager Didier Descamps called him up in May this year, and he has since played an important role for France. Even before the verdict came out, the French Football Federation has confirmed that Benzema will not be dropped unless the decision was performance based.
On the club level, Real Madrid has not issued a statement on the verdict, but Benzema was one of the goal-scorers in Wednesday’s victory over Sheriff in the Champions League. Clearly, Carlo Ancelotti is maintaining his trust in the player.
As for his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or, this should not be affected either as the votes came in several weeks before the verdict was announced.
Benzema’s lawyers are expected to make an appeal to try to overturn the guilty verdict.